The biomolecules They are the molecules that are present in all living beings. It could be said that biomolecules make up all living things regardless of their size. For instance: ketoses, collagen, DNA.
Each molecule (which constitutes a biomolecule) is made up of atoms of certain chemical elements. The chemical elements that make up biomolecules are called bioelements, which are: carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S) and phosphorus (P). Each biomolecule will be composed of some of these bioelements.
The principal function of biomolecules is to be a constitutive part of all living beings. Furthermore, biomolecules form the structure of the cell and perform relevant activities.
Types of biomolecules
Biomolecules can be classified into:
- Inorganic biomolecules. They do not have their carbon-based structure, but they are necessary to sustain life in living things. For example: mineral salts, water (H2O), some gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), among other.
- Organic biomolecules. Its structure is based on carbon and other bioelements, although they can also have some metals such as iron (Fe). They can be classified according to their chemical composition or their specific functions in organisms.
There are several types of organic biomolecules:
- Carbohydrates or carbohydrates. The cell needs carbohydrates because they provide a great source of energy. Carbohydrates are mainly made up of 3 bioelements: carbono, hydrogen mexigen. These biomolecules can be simple or very complex, and can be classified according to the number of molecular units that make up their structure in:
- Monosaccharides. They have a single simple carbohydrate molecule. Glucose is an example of a monosaccharide and is present in the blood of living things.
- Disaccharides. The union of two monosaccharides will form a disaccharide. For example: the sugar that we use every day is made up of sucrose.
- Polysaccharides. The union of three or more monosaccharides will result in a polysaccharide biomolecule. Some are starch (found in potatoes) and glycogen (found in the body of living things, mainly in the muscles and the liver).
- Lipids. Lipids form the cell’s membranes and are reserve energy for the body. Sometimes it can be vitamins or hormones. They are made up of a fatty acid and alcohol, although they can also have other functional groups in their structure. In turn, they have extensive chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. They can only be dissolved in substances like alcohol, benzene, chloroform, or ether. Therefore, it is not possible to dissolve them in water. They can be subdivided according to their specific function into different groups:
- Lipids with energy function. They are found in the form of fat in animals. It is the characteristic adipose tissue that many living beings have under the skin. This lipid generates an insulating and protective layer from the cold. Lipids are also present in plant leaves, preventing them from drying out easily.
- Lipids with structural function. They are phospholipids (they contain phosphate groups, PO43-) and make up the cell membrane.
- Lipids with hormonal function. They are also called “steroids.” For example: human sex hormones.
- Lipids with vitamin function. These lipids are involved in the transport of fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K.
- Protein. They are biomolecules that fulfill various functions in the body. They are made up of amino acids, which are simpler biomolecules made up of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen.
There are 20 types of fundamental amino acids. The combination of these amino acids will result in different proteins. Proteins can be classified according to their function in:
- Structural proteins. They are responsible for the shape, rigidity and flexibility of the body of all living beings. For example: keratin and collagen.
- Hormonal proteins. They regulate some functions of the organism. For example: insulin, which has the function of controlling the entry of glucose into the cell.
- Defense proteins. They work as a defense of the body, that is, they are responsible for attacking and defending the body from microorganisms, bacteria or viruses. For example: white blood cells, specifically lymphocytes, are cells that produce antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria.
- Transport proteins. They are responsible for transporting substances or molecules through the blood. For example: hemoglobin carries oxygen.
- Proteins of enzymatic action. They accelerate chemical reactions in the body, such as the assimilation of nutrients by the different organs of the body. For example: amylase, which breaks down glucose to allow its better assimilation by the body.
- Nucleic acids. They are polymers made up of units called nucleotides (molecules made up of a nitrogenous base, a pentose and a phosphate group). Its main function is to transmit genetic information from generation to generation. They also control the process of protein synthesis. There are two types of nucleic acids:
- DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
- RNA (ribonucleic acid).
Examples of biomolecules
- Lactose or milk sugar
- Maltose or malt sugar
- Sucrose or cane sugar and beets
- Hyaluronic acid
- Amylopectin: branched starch
- Dermatan sulfate
- Keratin sulfate
Foods that contain lipids
- Avocado (unsaturated fats)
- Peanut (unsaturated fats)
- Pork (saturated fat)
- Ham (saturated fat)
- Milk (Saturated Fat)
- Nuts (unsaturated fats)
- Olive (unsaturated fats)
- Fish (polyunsaturated fats)
- Cheese (saturated fat)
- Canola Seed (Unsaturated Fat)
- Bacon (Saturated Fat)
- Collagen (secreted by fibrous connective tissue)
- Glycoproteins (are part of cell membranes)
- Elastin (part of elastic connective tissue)
- Keratin or keratin (is part of the upper layers of the epidermis)
- Histones (form chromatin, which in turn forms chromosomes)
- Calcitonin (intervenes in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus)
- Glucagon (involved in the production of glucose)
- Growth hormone (regulates the growth of the body after birth)
- Insulin (regulates the synthesis of carbohydrates)
- Hormones troops (act on endocrine glands)
- Immunoglobulin G (fights viruses, fungi and bacteria)
- Immunoglobulin A (prevents viruses and bacteria from entering the blood plasma)
- Cytochromes (carry energy)
- Hemocyanin (carries oxygen in the body of crustaceans, arachnids and mollusks)
- Hemoglobin (carries oxygen in vertebrate organisms and certain invertebrates)
Enzymatic action proteins
- Amylases (involved in the conversion of starch into glucose)
- Lactases (breaks lactose into galactose and glucose)
- Glucose isomerase (converts glucose to fructose)
- Cellulases (break down cellulose into simple sugars)
- DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
- Messenger RNA (ribonucleic acid)
- Ribosomal RNA
- Artificial RNA
- Transfer RNA